Saturday, September 30

Happy National Public Lands Day! Always, always, ALWAYS work to preserve and protect our country's coolest places. I am very excited I get to help serve these lands. I realized I should also add a description to the titles of these posts ( as opposed to day 1, 2, 3 etc) so they are less vague.

I woke up very early at Coronado. Andy and I had to leave the site at 6:30 a.m. so we could meet up with Kim, Coronado's Interpretive Ranger, at her house to leave for a National Public Lands Day event. We got to see the sunrise, which was gorgeous.

After meeting up with Kim, we took off. The event is kind of a little event for children where they can stop by booths to learn about conservation, etc. The event was run by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) at the San Pedro National Conservation Area and featured tables for the Forest Service, Arizona Wilderness Coalition, BLM, Border Patrol, and other agencies. We got free NPLD t-shirts! We had a cool table set up for all three parks. We featured mammal skins, skulls, and paw prints; and a mammal trivia game, where kids can spin a wheel and answer a question about a mammal to earn a prize.

It was a great learning opportunity for me because I got to learn the basics of the eight main SEAZ (Southeast Arizona) mammals: white-tailed deer, jackrabbit, gray fox, skunk, bobcat, coyote, black bear, and javalina. I came up with some cool facts to tell kids right off the bat, and will be learning more so I can further answer questions. I got to chat with the kids, help them with the game, and watch how Kim interacted with the kids as well. 

Near the end of the day, I took some time to walk up to the main porch to see some animals. A woman had brought all kinds of caged reptiles for people to look at. I got to see a very active gila monster, three kinds of rattlesnakes, a couple other snakes, a scorpion, and a large centipede. Fascinating!

We packed up our table and waited in the hot sun for a while to have our stuff transported back to the van. After that Andy and I left to return to Chiricahua. I fell asleep a little on the drive back. We ended up arriving at around 4:20 p.m. which was GREAT (VC closes at 4:30), because I still had some time available to take advantage of the NPLD 15% discount! I stocked up on all the cool Chiricahua gear and swag I had been looking at all week. I got some gifts, too. If you're lucky, you may receive one.

I went back to my house and hung out for the rest of the evening. I had 10 hours on the work clock today, so I was pretty tired. Great day though!

Side note: I saw more grasshoppers today than all the grasshoppers I've ever seen in my life up until now! They were EVERYWHERE at San Pedro. There was also a very weird looking grasshopper-like bug that we couldn't identify. Can you?

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